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Danielle DeTiberus: In the Middle of Fucking You, I Pause

Not to look down and cup your jaw’s small hinge, not

To lean over, kiss you, grab you by the scruff of your chest

As I throw my hair and tits up to the ceiling and ride. No. 

My leg has seized to cramp and you notice my wince, scan 

The length of my body in the Sunday morning sun filtering

In on us. A little older now, looser than in our 20s,

Looser even than last year. Months of virus and tear gas

In the streets. Our walks and panicked grocery runs

The only time we left the house. Comfort in the garden,

Pastas in their sauces. You built a bicycle from parts, planted

A pear tree in the yard. When this suffering ends, its branches

Will cover our heads. What we did not say was that then, too,

There will be another kind of suffering. Instead we dug out

The earth, tickled the maze of roots loose with our bare hands.

Watered the little tree too much at first, desperate for a task. 

I’d make the coffee and watch you whisper to the butterfly 

Bush, the cilantro, the fig, the lime. Twenty years together and yet

You were new to me again. What of fear and how it startles.

What if I lost you? A heartsick of Ifs. So we ate more, fucked 

More, counted new gray hairs as proof of our survival. 

I lift my right leg slightly and before I can speak, your thumbs 

Are gliding up and down my thigh. We have learned where 

To touch each other by trial and error. Years of listening

To one another sleep. And suddenly on top of you, I want 

To weep. Maybe one day despair will get the better of us,

Maybe one day before the pear has even learned to fruit. 

What I mean to say is: just when I thought I’d lost all hope.


Copyright 2022 Danielle DeTiberus

Danielle DeTiberus teaches creative writing in Charleston, and she is the Program Chair, Poetry Society of South Carolina.

Danielle DeTiberus

2 comments on “Danielle DeTiberus: In the Middle of Fucking You, I Pause

  1. Lisa Zimmerman
    February 14, 2022

    Oh!♥️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Barbara Huntington
    February 14, 2022

    As good poetry does, this struck. Hard and fast and brought tears from nowhere. It sneaked up and let the “poor me”s loose before I could snap their leashes back on. Sometimes a poem is needed to release the tears.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 14, 2022 by in Health and Nutrition, Most Popular, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , .

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